Day 318 – National Fudge Day

This would be an easy one. I know fudge. I make fudge. I make good fudge.

I’ve actually made fudge multiple times along this quest, although most recently for National Nutty Fudge Day. That was a batch I made with nuts which is not my usual recipe. As I have discussed, my recipe is the Never Fail Fudge recipe that’s printed on the jar of Marshmallow Fluff. It’s actually the recipe that used to be on there. They have changed it over the last ten years or so but I stick with the original. The fudge is always good. Super creamy, wickedly sweet and decadently chocolate. You probably don’t want to do a calorie analysis of it because it’s made with 5 cups of sugar and a jar of Fluff. Yep, it’s a little high in the sugar department. But it’s good. Real good.

I made mine today as if I was in a race. I actually made two batches. The first batch I made when I got home from work. I got home around 5 pm and Lola had just left to go to a wake. I immediately sprang into fudge-making action. Heated the butter and evaporated milk, added in the salt, sugar and Fluff. Stirred like crazy. Watched it boil for about five minutes. Added in the vanilla and chocolate chips. Stirred it again until the white liquid turned that brown, chocolatey hue, then poured it into a prepared pan so it could set. It took me about a half hour and when Lola got home, the fudge was made, the dishes were clean and I was ready for a Friday night.

We decided to go out for dinner which is something we hadn’t done in a while and we headed to Pomodoro’s in Bristol which is a very small neighborhood Italian restaurant where you bring your own wine. It was raining when we went, so we had to battle the rain as we made our way to the front doors, but once inside we just had to wait about 20 minutes for a table. We were getting impatient but we kept telling ourselves it was worth the wait, and it was. We eventually got a table and had a great little dinner. Good wine, great company and delicious food – everything you want. We started with a clam in white sauce appetizer which was probably the best clams I’ve ever had. Lola had the gnocchi for dinner, I went with a calzone. We really needed a date night and this was the perfect recipe for that. We got home around 9 pm. At that point, I naturally decided to make another batch of fudge, so I went through the whole fudge rigmarole again as Lola made her way to bed. I was actually finished within a half hour – I guess that’s my prep time for fudge now. I cleaned up and went to bed happy that I now had two big batches of fudge waiting for me in the morning. You can’t eat fudge right away because it needs to set, but I did give it a little taste and it was spot on. Nice and chocolatey.

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I’m not sure how I became the Fudge Guy. I made it for the first time years ago when I was looking for something to make for Christmas. I remember making that first batch and the instructions telling me to heat until it turns to the “soft ball” stage. I had no idea what that meant (and still don’t). I pictured that the mixture would start to form a dough that would be as soft as a softball, but it never gets hard like that when it is heating. I think I kept stirring that first batch over heat for 15 minutes waiting for the change. Eventually I gave up and just added in the chocolate. It came out ok and ever since then, I’ve been making fudge. The key to fudge is to keep stirring to keep it smooth and so you don’t burn the sugar. Also, by stirring constantly you reduce the risk of the sugar boiling up and out of the pot. It will still pop and spit, but stirring allows you to limit that. Getting hit with the hot sugar popping out of the boiling mixture is never fun. It grabs your skin and keeps burning until you wipe it off. It would be a pretty effective weapon if you happened to be making fudge and an intruder came into your house. That’s one of those ‘dark passenger’ thoughts I have whenever I am stirring.

I really like the fudge I make and that could be a problem, and that’s one of the reasons why I like sharing it too. It means I won’t eat it all but it brings smiles to a lot of faces. I cut mine up into bite size pieces which makes it particularly good for sharing. You can grab a piece and go. My fudge is usually requested around the holidays. My mom actually asks for it every time I see her. She has a few friends that ask her for it too. Lola’s family are big fans as well. I think that’s why I made two batches today – so I would have plenty to share. We are celebrating my brother’s birthday on Saturday, so I will bring some to him. That means I’ll have to give some to my sister too. I might bring some to work as well. Are you in the mood for fudge? Hit me up – I may be able to hook you up.

Every once and a while along this quest I get a day that is right in my wheelhouse. That’s what fudge is. You  may think that I took the easy way out on this one, but I did make two whole batches of fudge. That’s not as simple as it sounds. In the end, it will all be for the greater good. It will bring some smiles. That’s the kind of food fudge is to me. It’s a little treasure of sweet goodness that hits you in the happy spot. I see fudge in the candy shops in beachside towns and in supermarkets (they sell it at Clements). I see how people fawn over the chocolate goodness as it sits in splendor behind glass case. It’s a special treat deserving of vacations and other days of celebration. That’s probably why I’m a fudge man – because it makes any day an occasion to celebrate. Today, I did just that.

Next up: National Stewart’s Root Beer Day 

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